I answered a question and just after commenting "Yep that seems to be working! Thank you so much!" the question author deleted the question (and, thus, my answer).
Is this behavior considered appropriate on SO?
Shouldn't it be discouraged?
Meta Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for meta-discussion of the Stack Exchange family of Q&A websites. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Having had this happen to me recently too, I've been pondering some possible solutions.
It's already the case that questions with upvoted answers cannot be unilaterally deleted by the questioner (see here). So, if a question is around long enough for any decent answers to accumulate some upvotes, the problem goes away.
As such, I would propose preventing new users (say < 50 rep) from unilaterally deleting questions less than (say) 24 hours old, if they have any answers at all (upvoted or otherwise). This would give a grace period for decent answers to get the attention they deserve. If after 24 hours there still are no decent answers (none with > 0 net votes), the OP is free to delete their question as is currently the practice.
An alternative proposed by Jonathon Hobbs (see the comments) would be to make the 24 hour period begin when the first answer is posted to the question (or, possibly, when each answer is posted). This would better protect the answers (rather than the question) for at least 24 hours, and would give the question asker an "opt-out" for as long as no answers are forthcoming.
To allow edge cases to be handled, the questioner should still be able to flag their question in those first 24 hours, to request moderator deletion.
Note that these changes should only apply specifically to the original poster of the question - the closure/deletion process for other members of the community must be left unchanged in order to allow community moderation to remain effective.
The only built in method of preventing this is that if users are repeatedly deleting their questions shortly after posting them then they're likely to be question banned after a handful of deleted questions. This is one of the specific behaviors that the question ban is designed to prevent.
You can also flag such a question for moderator attention and ask that it be undeleted, if you happen to get a link to such a question. They can disassociate it from the user if that user really doesn't want the question associated with them.
A further defense against users just deleting their questions when they don't need them anymore, in the event that they have valuable content, is the fact that an author cannot delete their question if it has an answer with a positive score.
That said, looking at this question, it's just a typo question; it's not likely to be helpful for future visitors, so it's probably not actually a bad thing for it to be deleted. If it was something that could actually help anyone else I'd be much more concerned.
Seems pretty crappy to me, but I don't know how to prevent it or discourage it, other than pointing it out to a moderator. The person has been here for 4 days, has 1 rep, and has no questions, answers or even comments where you could leave a comment. Even if it is a pattern, it is also difficult for regular users - even trusted users - to find their deleted posts very easily, unless they happen upon them or you alert people to the behavior before they delete their next question.
One thing you could do is check a user's profile before you answer their question. If they've been a member for four days, have one rep, no questions/answers/activity etc., maybe hold off before being the first person to expend a bunch of effort.